Long-time Seminole Locks (17+1 grayshirt)
4* QB J.J. Cosentino (#11 QB)
3* RB Jonathan Vickers (#36 RB)
4* WR Travis Rudolph (#29 WR)
4* TE Mavin Saunders (#9 TE)
3* TE Ryan Izzo (#27 TE)
4* OT Chad Mavety (JUCO)
3* OT Brock Ruble (#86 OL)
4* OG Corey Martinez (#20 OL)
3* OC Alec Eberle (#76 DT)
4* DT DeMarcus Christmas (#8 DT)
3* DT Adam Torres (#35 DT)
3* DT Arthur Williams (#43 DT)
3* DT Fredrick Jones (#81 DT)
4* DE Ricky Leonard (#31 DE)
4* OLB Jacob Pugh (#6 OLB)
3* ILB Delvin Purifoy (#19 MLB)
3* CB Malique Jackson (#50 CB)
3* OT Ethan Frith (greyshirt; #88 OT)
Arthur Williams is a possible academic casualty and (largely as a result) is a likely candidate for a grayshirt if FSU needs the space. Also, although he says there was no discussion of a grayshirt on his visit, I also think Fred Jones could be asked to grayshirt if FSU somehow hit a home run on every available player on their board and numbers were to become an issue.
FSU Commits on the Fence (3)
4* QB Treon Harris (#12 CB) — 40%
McGahee: Booker T. Washington coach Ice Harris is known for wanting his players to stick to their commitments. This should be especially true for his own son.
Staples: This smells a bit too much like the Dalvin Cook situation in reverse. As Geoff likes to say, watch what they do, not what they say. Well, neither has been especially comforting in this situation, especially since the recent hire of Kurt Roper as the offensive coordinator at Florida. I wouldn't be surprised to see him flip to the Gators on signing day. (UF 50%)
Vogt: I think Treon jumps ship. Obviously as a QB, that's not a big deal from FSU's perspective. If he does flip, I would keep an eye on Miami where both his brothers went, but the most likely destination is UF for now. That said, I do not think it is over-over. And I will share some of the story if he in fact does flip.
4* DT/DE Dexter Wideman (#22 DT) — 55%
Staples: I've felt all along that the real battle was to get him to campus for his official visit and that if he made it to campus, he'd wind up in the class. That notwithstanding, there is some reason for concern here, and this will go right down to the wire. I'm penciling him in the class, but I don't feel confident about it. (55%)
3* DE Lorenzo Featherston (#41 DE) — 50%
Staples: Featherston's recent visit to Miami gives some cause for concern, especially since FSU is so deep on the DL. I haven't heard any discussion of this as a possibility, but given his build and the fact that his weight would make him unlikely to contribute as a freshman, Featherston would be an excellent candidate for a grayshirt to add some bulk before his freshman year. I love him as a long-term prospect, however, and I'm not sure he'd be willing to wait.
Signing Day Pickups (5–7)
With 17 sure signees (not including early enrollees) and three potentially on the fence, Florida State should have room for at least five more in the class. We expect the Seminoles to sign as many as 32, with two grayshirts if all academically qualify. Here are the most likely names to fill those spots, in order of likelihood.
4* OT Roderick Johnson (#7 OT) — 99% FSU
McGahee: Johnson has been a long time Florida State lean and took only two official visits. One to Florida State and one to Ohio State. While he enjoyed his Ohio State visit, Johnson felt more at home at Florida State.
Staples: This elite tackle prospect has been firm to FSU for a long time, and it'd be a shock for him to sign anywhere else. He has just been waiting until signing day to put on a show. Seminole all the way.
5* WR Ermon Lane (#3 WR)— 99% FSU
Staples: Lane only took one official visit—to Florida State. He could just as easily be in the lock category at this point. (99%)
5* DT Derrick Nnadi (#3 DT) — 85% FSU
McGahee: Nnadi was long thought of as a Virginia Tech lean until he took his official visit to Florida State. He felt absolutely at home in Tallahassee and his relationship with defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins will be the deciding factor.
Staples: A huge win for Odell Haggins here, pulling a very good nose tackle prospect with a lot of explosiveness. Nnadi is built a lot like departing junior Timmy Jernigan and would be an excellent fit for that spot in the defense.
5* WR Malachi Dupre (#2 WR) — 60% FSU
Staples: Dupre is a tough guy to call because he has left every school he's visited (LSU, FSU, Alabama, UCLA) feeling like they have a shot. It's also difficult to believe any Louisiana kid is leaving the state until the ink is dry. But this guy just feels like a different breed. He loves Jameis Winston, and his older brothers are FSU fans, which may minimize the local pressure to stay in state. I also think it's telling that his entire family made the trip to Tallahassee for his official visit, something that only happens if that destination is a serious candidate. I'm going out on a limb here, but I think he spurns the Tigers and heads east to Tallahassee. (60%)
McGahee: Dupre has had a very busy January with official visits to LSU, FSU, and UCLA in that order. Florida State rolled out the red carpet for Dupre when he visited and had Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston as his host. Winston and Dupre had formed a friendship over twitter during the season and it was on display as Dupre posted multiple pictures with him. I also think he winds up at FSU.
5* DE Malik McDowell (#7 DE) — 55% FSU
McGahee: The two in state schools Michigan and Michigan State were long thought to have the lead for McDowell. That has changed over the last month as Florida State and Ohio State are thought to be the leaders. Florida State is the dad's favorite and the mom has stated that she would be willing to move to Florida to watch him play.
Staples: Left to himself, McDowell would choose Michigan State. But his parents want him to leave the state, bringing Florida State and Ohio State into the picture. FSU is the favorite at this point, but he had a great visit with Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson, and the Buckeyes are a definite factor at this point. I have the Seminoles by a nose, but it's coming down to the wire.
4* WR Javon Harrison (#45 WR) — 60% FSU
McGahee: Harrison has been a long standing Virginia Tech commitment, but Florida State has turned up the heat since they saw his senior film. I think being close to home helps the Seminoles flip him.
Staples: The departure of longtime WR commit C.J. Worton likely opens another spot for Harrison, who now seems likely to flip to Florida State.
3* OT Derrick Kelly (#37 OT) — 55% FSU
Staples: I think Florida State makes Kelly at least a conditional offer tonight, perhaps contingent on numbers. But I think FSU is willing to sign as many as 32 (including Frith, who is already taking a grayshirt), especially since Arthur Williams is on the margin of qualifying. I think Kelly gets his offer and winds up a Seminole.
McGahee: I think he's in if FSU offers tonight.
Vogt: Kelly is still out, but if any of the top don't come, that will change. If he doesn't wind up in FSU's class, I think he goes to LSU over UF because of his love for FSU.
Close, but Likely Going Elsewhere
5* DE Lorenzo Carter (#5 DE) — Georgia (65%)
I think FSU has a better shot here than many think, but close doesn't matter much at the end. I think he ultimately stays closer to home and plays for the Bulldogs. If he decides to pull the shocker, FSU will most certainly make room for him, even if it means signing 33 (highly unlikely).
Vogt: FSU is out for Carter at this point.
5* DE Chad Thomas (#2 DE) — Miami (90%)
Staples: Another example of watch what they do: Thomas' parents did not travel to Tallahassee for his official visit, suggesting that the trip was for fun, rather than as a serious possibility. Thomas stays near home and plays for the Canes.
Vogt: FSU is out for Thomas, who signs with Miami.
Staples: It looks very much like a Bowden-esque signing day flurry for the defending national champions. We think the Noles have a very good shot at adding another five top 100 players to an already outstanding class. McDowell and Dupre are the two who could really put this class over the top. We feel the Noles lead for both, but it's always tough to land out of state players.
Given our percentages, Florida State could sign as many as 32 but is most likely to wind up with either 29 or 30 signees, perhaps losing one or both of Harris and Wideman or missing out on one or both of McDowell and Dupre. Missing on all four of those would be the worst case scenario for this class, at least as I see things. Odds are that FSU winds up with at least two of those four.
But even if FSU were to lose all four (unlikely), this still shapes up to be a terrific class. It's probably best to regard the pair of McDowell and Dupre (along with Carter) as potential icing on a very good cake rather than courting possible disappointment. This class answers every need the Seminoles have with outstanding talent, and it's hard to complain about that.
Vogt: In the end, I think Harris and Featherston end up jumping ship. As much as I like Featherston, I would gladly trade him for McDowell. There will be more story to tell if Harris indeed flips away from Florida State.
If you want to be conservative, FSU lands four of Lane, Johnson, Nnadi, Dupre, Harrison, and McDowell plus Kelly. That's a pretty good close.